When it comes to half day outings in Snowdonia, the ascent of Moel Siabod via the ridges that enclose Cwm y Foel is up there with the very best. Falling short of 3000er status by a measly 140ft, Siabod is often less crowded than the headline grabbing giants across the valley. However, make no mistake, old Siabod rewards those who visit him with some fantastic scrambling and possibly the finest view in the whole of Wales. When time is short, summer or winter, Moel Siabod is quite simply ‘the’ place to be.
Tryfan & the Glyderau: Cwm Bochlwyd Loop
303 - 983 m | 6.6 km
Snowdon's horseshoe may have the majesty, but Ogwen's own circular classic boasts more and better scrambling. With its architectural rock scenery and endlessly varied ground this lap of Cwm Bochlwyd has to be the best low-grade hands-on route in Wales. The circuit covers all the main highlights of the central Glyderau: a full scrambling traverse of Tryfan via its north and south ridges; the alpine-esque clambering on Bristly Ridge; the high mountain moonscapes of Glyders Fach and Fawr; monumental rock features like The Cantilever and Castell y Gwynt; and the scrambly crest of Y Gribin ridge.
Cnicht - The Welsh Matterhorn
152 - 688 m | 10.6 km
When viewed from across the coastal plain in the west, Cnicht takes on the appearance of a perfect pyramidal mountain reminiscent of a miniature Matterhorn, though sadly that’s where the comparison with Zermatt’s finest ends. Our Cnicht is a bit of an imposter and far from being an isolated peak it is actually the high point of an elevated ridge rising from a boggy tableland. Ok, so now you’ve had the bad news it’s time for the good and there’s plenty of it! This walk around Cnicht and it aqueous environs is one of the most enjoyable in Snowdonia offering some of the finest views in the national park, a smidgeon of optional scrambling and a tour of the most enchanting llynau imaginable. And the best bit? Beyond Cnicht’s airy summit you will more than likely be on your own and wondering what you have done to deserve such a sublime area all to yourself. Enjoy, but don’t tell everyone!
The Round of Marchlyn Mawr
364 - 898 m | 7 km
Hideously scarred and cruelly exploited it may well be, but Elidir Fawr is often the choice of the connoisseur when a quick 3000er is the order of the day. The Round of Marchlyn Mawr visits Elidir Fawr before encircling the eponymous llyn by way of two unsung peaks on the Glyderau’s unfashionable northern extremity. A short day with huge views, this walk gives a subtle twist to an old favourite.
361 - 1076 m | 12 km
Perhaps it's only fitting that the highest mountain in Wales boasts the country's greatest all-day scrambly ridge traverse. Indeed there's no better route of its kind in the British Isles south of the Scottish border. The walk has a compelling logic, following narrow ridge crests encircling the massif's huge eastern cwm and linking its four principal summits - three of which are three thousanders. Notable scrambling is encountered on the ascent and traverse of Crib Goch and the continuation ridge Crib y Ddysgl, which leads to Snowdon's second highest peak Garnedd Ugain. Though it's not technically difficult (grade 1 by the line of least resistance) this entire section is relatively serious with some surprising exposure and few easy escape options. With its train station, cafe and crowds the summit of Yr Wyddfa itself is a bit of a let down, but the final traverse over sharp-spined y Lliwedd rounds things off in suitably spectacular style.
The Southern Carneddau
291 - 1060 m | 14.5 km
Anyone travelling through the Ogwen Valley for the first time would be forgiven for ignoring the huge grassy whalebacks which form the northern wall of this handsome defile. Indeed, with Tryfan’s striking good looks and the rock studded cwms of the Glyderau on display it’s little wonder that the Carneddau are shunned by those hankering after exciting scrambles and memorable days on classic rock routes. However, if it’s a superb walk in relative solitude you’re after then folk in the know will point you at those big old lumps where scenes of genuine grandeur can also be won, but unlike the cheap thrills of their Ogwen brethren, the secrets of the Carneddau must be earned. Spaciousness, fantastic views and an atmosphere of the ancient await you on this route which crosses some of the highest mountains in the principality.
Snowdon's Quiet Side - Cwm Clogwyn Round
142 - 1077 m | 15.1 km
Snowdon isn’t short of great walking routes to its crowded summit, but if you think they are all infested with other folk you can think again. A round of lonely Cwm Clogwyn ascending the superb Rhyd Ddu path followed by a descent of the Ranger gives you the rare opportunity to exercise your more misanthropic tendencies on one of the most popular mountains in Britain. Giving wonderful views from the off this is a walk to savour and one to which you will no doubt return...you may never roam the Pyg Track again!
The Welsh 3000s
109 - 1076 m | 41.3 km
A good challenge for any fit walker which also is one of the best walks in Snowdownia. The route ascends all the peaks over 3000 feet starting with Snowdon (Yr Wydffa) and finishing with Foel Fras in the Carneddau.
181 - 707 m | 8.5 km
Snowdonia’s biggies are crammed into a small corner of the National Park, along with most of the crowds. In contrast the adjacent Nantlle hills feel like a neglected backwater - in a good way. A grassy stride along elegant curved arêtes, the traverse of the main ridge linking all the summits in the range is a classic Welsh walk, with a rare sense of peace and spacious seaward views. Mildly scrambly moments are spread out along the way, and they're unlikely to tax even the most nervous hillwalker.